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3:1-7 The serpent appears

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had
made. He said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?
The woman said to the serpent, We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you
must not touch it, or you will die. You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman. For God
knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good
and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the
eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her
husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they
realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for
themselves.

When I was a boy of around 8 years of age in Junior School one of the ways the headmaster would
encourage me to write prose was by taking out of a glass-fronted cupboard in his study a
manuscript which had been written in a school notebook by a small boy who had attended the
school ten years earlier. The headmaster would read aloud to me the opening words of a short
story the boy had composed and whose handwriting, incidentally was in a beautiful copperplate.
As the headmaster went through this routine several times I am able to remember even today
those first sentences; In the dawn dark forms could be dimly discerned moving restlessly on the
horizon evidently preparing for an attack . . . Now notice the alliteration, the headmaster, Mr.
Lewis, would say.

That wasnt a bad effort for a ten year old writer was it? As a little boy I was enormously
impressed by it, though I never heard anything further than the first two or three sentences.
Confronting such an achievement from a boy my own age and soon to be younger than me
was as daunting as meeting an unplayable composition of Mozart propped up on the piano
announcing that it was written when the composer was six years of age. Who was that Merthyr
boy, I wonder, and whatever became of him?

The opening sentence of his short story created a mood of anticipation for what was to follow
next, the dawn breaking . . . the dark forms about to attack . . . and I will never know what
occurred! Something was going to happen soon. So it is when you read the first two chapters of
Genesis you are thinking, Somethings going to happen soon. God has created the possibility of
things going wrong. He didnt make angels and men in such a way that they were immune from
temptation. Almost as soon as he had created the angels there was a rebellion by a third of them
and God had a great sping-cleaning of heaven driving every single one of the rebels outside. With
that same freedom in which God had made the angels the Lord created man, in other words, with
no built-in immunity to sin. Somethings going to happen!
God also set aside a tree in the Garden which he designated a tree of the knowledge of good and
evil and he put Adam under probation not to eat from its fruit. Is Adam going to obey God? Were
going to find out. Somethings going to happen! God even allowed the ringleader of these fallen
angels to enter the Garden of Eden and confront the woman. God didnt make Paradise a Satan-
free zone. Somethings going to happen soon! Mankind is on the perilous path to freedom, and
our freedom was not going to be attained by a single powerful act of the divine will by which God
would constitute us sin-free for ever and ever erecting impregnable walls around perfect unfallen
man. It was not going to come about like that. Freedom would come to us by permitting our first
parents to be tempted and to fall and a mighty Saviour lovingly to be sent.

Now every amateur theologian, every little boy or girl whos been raised in a Christian home, is
soon going to ask his or her parents, Where did evil come from if God is all good and all powerful?
We want the answer. We want a book, with a chapter and a paragraph in it that sums it all up, so
that we know how. We need it on a shelf, and once every ten years or so well take it down and
rehearse the explanation and reassure ourselves that we know where sin came from and why both
angels and men created by God and as holy as himself could spit in Gods face. For some wise
reason God doesnt tell us how this could happen. There is total silence. Live with that ignorance,
God says, and trust in me and obey. He assures us he is all good. He tells us he is all powerful. He
declares to us that sin didnt come from him it couldnt come from him it came somehow from
the very beings the holy God made, but how that was, he doesnt tell us.

There is more than that to consider. Its very dangerous to think of religion as something
chockablock full of mysteries, and to think of ourselves as practical down-to-earth blokes. It
confirms a worldly feeling that nobody knows any definite answers to anything. It is not like that.
We know all we have to do to get out of hell and get into heaven. We have to put our trust in
Jesus Christ the Son of God. We know all that we must do to glorify and enjoy God. We know all
that we must do to live a life pleasing to God. Where evil comes from is not an issue about
something that happened thousands of years ago, it is about something that happened last week
in your life. Where did that come from? How could you behave as you did when youve served
Jesus maybe fifty years? Where did that sin come from? Youre a Christian? Yes. A real Christian? I
guess so. You mean that in your life God the Holy Spirit lives? Yes. You are joined to Jesus Christ,
and he is joined to you, our Lord too is in you God is in you? Yes. And you sin? You sin bad? You
have done terrible things as a Christian, with the Holy Spirit in you, joined to Jesus Christ? Yes. God
all powerful, and all good and yet he lets you sin just like youve sinned in the past few days? Yes.
Have you got some explanation for this? Are you taking that in your stride, that you sin as you do?
Think of that Christian in Corinth who went to a prostitute; Paul says something shocking, that he
was taking the members of Christ and joining them to a harlot. Sin is something terrible and
inexplicable. How dare we sin!
The real issue is not how was it possible for angels to sin, or our first parents to sin, but how in the
world do you continue sinning? The issue is this, why does God let you sin? My dear children, I
write this to you so that you will not sin (I Jn. 2:1). Thats the biblical command, and yet we seem
to think it is the most understandable thing in the world that we sin, and we want to channel the
conversation from ourselves to the very beginning of everything and talk about the angels sinning
and our first parents sinning. No! Why do you as a Christian man or woman sin against those you
love the most? Why do you sin against those you depend upon the most? I have no excuse but I
sadly acknowledge the power of sin. Sin is simply ugly irrationality. There is no book with the
answer to your question, no explanation of where sin comes from, that you can take off the shelf
every few years and brush up the explanation while in the mean time getting on with living your
own selfish life. Where did sin come from? Unless you repent you shall all likewise perish, Jesus
says. Watch and pray! Take heed you who stand lest you fall. Dont be speculating about Adams
sin. Fight against the sin that so easily besets you. That will take all your wits and all your energy.
Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you. Is
Jesus praying for you? Is your only hope being kept by an interceding Saviour? He is able to save to
the uttermost them that come to God by him since he ever lives to make intercession for them.

So at the end of Genesis chapter two what is going to happen? Adam is under probation; he has
been designed with the possibility of defying his Designer; there is a tree of the knowledge of good
and evil in the Garden and Adam has been told not to eat from it. The garden of Eden is not off-
limits for Satan. Somethings going to happen! But you would never guess what it is . . .

1. THE CRAFTY SERPENT MAKES ITS APPEARANCE.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made (v.1).
Words that appear at the beginning of Hebrew sentences are the emphatic words, and so these
three words, Now the serpent, puts this animal right into our face. A snake! Iola and I were
walking on the isle of Sicily and on the side of the road was a large metal road sign warning of
some hazard ahead. It had fallen over and been abandoned so that grass was growing over it.
What danger is it warning about? I said to Iola and with difficulty, tearing the clinging grass and
creepers, I lifted up the triangular sign, and there lying underneath it was a fat coiled snake! I
dropped the sign quickly. It is scary enough watching wildlife films about snakes, but to be in
actual striking distance of one . . . If I told you that a snake had escaped and was slithering around
somewhere in the church today you would be an involuntary lifting of legs. In the ancient Near
East people had a paradoxical view of snakes. Like you and me they were terrified of them
because of the danger of their silent approach and their venom, but on the other hand they
honoured them because at times they offered them protection. Snakes were friends and fiends,
protectors as well as opponents, worshipped in a temple, hated in a bedroom.
We are told by Moses that the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God
had made. In Aesops fables it is Mr. Fox that is the craftiest animal, scheming and devising,
outwitting the farmer, his geese and sheep. Moses tells us of the craftiness of the serpent, and so
we are being asked to think a little. What has made this animal suddenly more crafty than foxes
and elephants and lions and sheepdogs and apes? And the answer is the power that lay behind it,
that is here focused upon it, that now is using it to his own ends. This particular serpent is in the
grip of a very great force outside of itself. That is why it is so crafty, and soon its cunning will be
seen by us all.

Then you will see that this serpent actually . . . speaks! Here is a lying wonder! This is an injection
of superterrestrial forces into the Garden of Eden. Weve all heard that the serpent spoke; all our
lives weve heard of the talking serpent. The sense of surprise has vanished, but if you went into
your home after the service today and the dog looked up and said to you, Had a good service?
youd drop your Bible with the shock. Animals dont talk. Animals cannot talk. Adam named the
animals; they didnt name Adam. Only Adam was made in the image of God and so could think and
speak. Animals dont have that ability. They cannot describe men as men describe them. There is a
profound discontinuity between man and the humbler creation, and so when the serpent opens
its mouth and instead of hissing it strikes up a conversation with Eve then we know that something
highly preternatural is happening. Something out of the ordinary is taking place. Theres a smell of
brimstone in the air. Alarm bells should have started ringing for Eve.

What is hinted at in Genesis in this snake is described as the great dragon . . . that serpent of old,
called the Devil and Satan in the book of Revelation chapter 12 verse 9 and Revelation chapter 20
verse 2. Our Lord himself refers to the devil as a liar and a murderer from the beginning (Jn. 8:44).
In the New Testament we read of spirits possessing not only people but a herd of pigs. Paul tells
the Corinthians, But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpents cunning, your minds
may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Cor. 11:3). What we
are seeing in Genesis 3 is that the devil, who is an invisible spirit, deciding to come to Eve in the
form of a snake. He talks with her rationally; there, before Eve, is the objective personal
embodiment of evil.

This entire chapter isnt quaint in any way is it? This is not a smart fable getting its point across
told by a good ole boy. There is a deep moral earnestness about Genesis chapter three. We are
being told that because of the fall of Adam a curse came upon mankind, that men toil and sweat
all their days as they battle with the thorns of daily living, and women gasp and cry as they give
birth to babies, and death has come into the world all because of what happened here. This is
my father Adam and my mother Eve and mortality has come into my life, and I am facing the grave
because of what they did. This story isnt being here to entertain us, but to explain and to warn
and to evangelize me with news of the glorious seed of the woman who is coming and will crush
this serpents head. Youd better take this chapter very seriously because its not a cute story about
people in the old days with their amusing ideas.
This is not a parable. Nathan told king David a parable about a rich man who sent his servants to
take away the one lamb a poor man possessed. They killed it and served it to a guest. Davids heart
blazed with indignation at hearing this story. Let him compensate the poor man with a gift of four
lambs, he cried. But you are that man! Nathan said to him. It was a parable told to bring David to
conviction for taking Ureas only wife Bathsheba. A parable has one lesson like that, but that is not
what we find here in Genesis three. Moses isnt saying, I am giving you a pretty illustration so that
you wont give in to Satan, and then well all sing, Yield not to temptation, and go home. No, it is
not like that. Here is an account of what happened when God made man, and sin and death came
into our world, into my world and your world. It is appointed unto men once to die, and Genesis
three is telling us the means by which death entered the world created by the Holy One.

What support we get for this precise interpretation from the New Testament itself. Particularly in
the fifth chapter of Romans Paul compares the action of Adam with the action of Christ. As Adam
did one thing, Christ has done another. And if all that Paul says there about Adam isnt true if
there was no Adam then doesnt it follow that theres no need of any Christ? If Adams work is
mythical, how do we know that Christs work isnt also mythical? If Adam isnt a historical
character, then its not essential to believe that Christ is a historical character. But is the whole
thrust of Pauls argument is the solidarity of mankind in one of two real men. Any of the verses
that he uses in that fifth chapter would illustrate the point: For if the many died by the trespass of
the one man, how much more did Gods grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man,
Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! (Roms 5:15). Has it overflowed to you? Again, Consequently,
just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of
righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of
the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the
many will be made righteous (Roms. 5:18&19). Has this life and righteousness come to you? Then
you are dead and sinful still. What Paul is saying is that the justification which Christians receive is
based upon the righteous act of the last Adam Jesus Christ, and that righteous act of Jesus Christ is
compared with the unrighteousness of the first man. These two men represent the state of the
human race. The first man is of the earth, earthy. The second man is the Lord from heaven. In
other words, the apostle sent by Jesus Christ, filled with the Spirit of Christ believed in Genesis
three, and inasmuch as Romans is Holy Scripture we may trust what he has to say in the matter,
because the Scriptures cant be broken.

2. WHAT THE SERPENT SAID TO THE WOMAN.

Satan was crafty when he came to Eve even in appearing before her as a serpent and not as a
roaring lion. He can also come as an angel of light. Maybe Eve would have frozen with fear had it
been the king of the beasts coming close to her, and overwhelmed with glory if an apparent
seraphim had appeared, but Satan came in the form of a serpent. Now Ive read that theres a
connection between the Hebrew word for snake and the Hebrew word for bronze. In other words
it is suggested that this was a very striking beast. Eve was confronted with some fascinating,
glittering creature. To come in the form of a snake was one of the devils devices. Then also notice
this, that he picked on Eve who had been made from Adam, and after Adam, and to help Adam.
He waited until Eve was by herself and he accosted her, appealing to her helpful disposition using
such grand character traits for his own ends. Ill get to Adam via Eve, he thought. Shes more likely
to listen to me and receive what Ive got to say. It was when Jesus was alone, hungry and in a
wilderness that Satan came to him. Then notice the threefold strategy of the serpents words;

i] He began by asking a question; He said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from
any tree in the garden? (v.2). A point of clarification . . . I wasnt there when God spoke to Adam . .
. Ive heard it at second hand . . . what exactly did Jehovah say? He flattered the woman that she
possessed knowledge that he didnt have and she could help him, but there was something more.
He was suggesting that it was rather surprising to hear what God was alleged to have said. In other
words, he hints at a little dash of meanness on the part of the Almighty to restricting Adam and
Ever from eating any fruit in the garden. Thats a bit of a shame isnt it? He was inserting a wedge
between our first parents and our loving Father. If he had begun by attacking the character of the
Lord who came each day and encouraged them then Eve would have been angry, but when it was
with a question for which she knew the answer then it made her start a conversation with the
devil. No, you havent got it quite right . . . she replies.

ii] He proceeded subtly to contradict God. When Eve replies and explains what God had said shes
already getting contaminated by this dialogue, because she says to the serpent, God even told us
that we werent to touch the tree. Notice how shes quickly caught on that its acceptable to
grumble a bit about God and make him appear a tad extreme. You will see in chapter two that God
had laid down no prohibition of not touching the tree. She also omitted Gods generous words free
and any because what God had said was that they were free to eat from any tree. She also
generalises Gods words because God had said to Adam, In the day thou dost eat from the tree,
thou wilt die, but Eve also changes that warning and makes it broader you, the plural form.

Then the serpent contradicts what God had said and he does so by reassuring Eve that taking the
fruit wouldnt be instant poison; you wont surely die he said. He strongly affirms this. In the
Hebrew the serpents words began with No. In other words No is the first word that he confidently
speaks. This suggestion that they would die is just not true. Perhaps the serpent knew or guessed
that for many years after eating the fruit Adam and Eve were going to go on living. Death wouldnt
immediately occur; Adam and Eve in fact remained on the earth for hundreds of years. So again
seeds are being sown in which the Lord appears to be a God who cant be trusted. Here is a God
who says, Deadly fruit, but this tree and its produce didnt look poisonous to Eve, quite the
reverse, its fruit seemed good for food; it was pleasant to the eyes, and eating it could give you
wisdom. Surely no one is going to die from eating that fruit? What is death anyway? Eve had no
experience of death.
iii] He further promised her new knowledge; God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be
opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (v.5). Once weve sinned we know about
that sin. Once weve taken drugs we know what effect they have. Once we have stabbed someone
we know the sensation of that evil experience. Thats certainly true. Again this is true from other
perspectives. Shouldnt we all know what is good and what is evil? Isnt that important
knowledge? Dont I urge people to come to church to learn what is the good life and what is evil?
So whats the problem? Its this, that since the fall of our father Adam everybody has got his own
idea of what is right and wrong. All the people of our small town are standing on their own two
feet trying to keep going on their way through life without God. They make their own rules. They
run their own kingdom; Now I think this is what is really bad, people say, and then theyll mention
intolerance, and imposing your views on others, and sabbatarianism, and getting extreme about
religion, and making judgments about peoples sexual preferences; I know that that is evil, they
say. And being good is always doing you best and being sincere; No one can do any more than
that, they say. They have made themselves the judges of right and wrong; they exonerate
themselves and condemn others, and its all on their own. They have all made themselves like God;
every single one of them. When the serpents words fell on Eves ears they made her thirsty to be
independent of God and decide for herself what was good and evil.

People do decide what is truth and what is erroneous on the flimsiest of foundations. I had a
letter this week from a missionary on one of the Greek islands. Terry wrote, Recently we have had
contact with a German, Dietwald, with his English wife, Karen who is a painter. They know nothing
whatsoever about the Bible. Karen brought her daughter along to Cathies weekly Bible study for
women. Cathie spoke from Psalm 73 and afterwards there was some discussion about what
happens after death. Karens daughter, Cristina, is quite sure she is coming back into this world as
a butterfly. She seemed to think this was wonderful, although it seems to me the second time
around she would have a very short stay. Where does one begin with such people? Cathie just told
her that these ideas are just the dreams of men without any basis and the only certainty is the
word of God, our Creator and Redeemer. She had no reply to this. But they keep on coming.
Cathie has been very encouraged this year.

Here is the old battle; do you know what is right and wrong because of what God tells us or by
making up our minds ourselves? This goes back to Eden . So I am saying to you to notice the
serpents approach, that he didnt swagger up to Eve and exhort her to defy God and eat from the
tree; he was far more crafty than that. In other words, the serpent didnt urge Eve, Take the fruit .
. . go on, take the fruit . . . take it! He didnt persuade Eve to rebel, he simply sowed some seeds of
doubt in her mind and offer her new knowledge. Thats how the devil works. Hes pretty cunning
creature. In this way Eve would be like God he insinuated, but she and her husband was already
like God, both of them made in his image, just a little lower than the angels. Most of all Satan got
her used to talking with the devil and talking about God and questioning his ways as if this were
the most natural thing in the world to do. We creatures are people who grumble about the Lord.
That is what creatures do.
As my old teacher, Dr. Edward J. Young said, There is a lesson for us at this point. Dont try to
reason with Satan. I dont mean that Satan is going to appear to you and sit down to talk things
over. Not at all! I dont think that when Martin Luther threw the inkpot at the Devil he hit the
Devil. Luther hit the Devil not so much with that inkpot as with the things that he wrote and
preached. The Devil was spending, I think, an undue amount of time with Martin Luther, which
means that Luther was being faithful to Christ. The reason why the Devil lets most of us get by
without bothering too much about us is that we are not causing him enough trouble. But when we
are faithful to Christ then the Devil gets very concerned. When I say that we shouldnt talk things
over with the Devil, or reason with the Devil, Id simply call to your mind what our Lord did and use
the word of God properly and accurately. When evil is presented to us, dont try to rationalize that
evil, but simply remember the Scripture: It is written, Jesus said; Thou shalt not, he said, and so on.
The only way to handle evil of any kind is to appeal to the Scripture, and if we do that temptation
and the tempter will flee from us (Edward J. Young, In the Beginning, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh
1976, p. 92). Someone has said that if you are going to smoke a peace pipe with the devil then the
pipe needs to have a very long stem, but better not to smoke at all.

So the serpents striking appearance and speech, his confident tone, his appeal to her for an
answer to his questions, his promise of this way of gaining knowledge raised in Eve great
expectations. So she gazed at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as she had never looked
at it before. All she could look at was this tree, though everything in the Garden was glorious. The
tree seemed utterly enchanting, and she became obsessed by it. The lust of the eyes, the lust of
the flesh, and the pride of life made the temptation overwhelming; the women saw that the fruit
of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom (v.6).
Can you see Eve licking her lips and salivating?

Did you ever notice that evil is always advertised as good? When people want you to do
something wrong, they hardly ever say Try it but youll hate it! Its a rotten thing to do! They never
suggest that you lie or cheat or steal or mock somebody just because its wrong and hurtful. They
never advertise some foolish or useless activity on TV as being foolish and useless. No, people
dress up evil as good. They put a good face on it. They say, Have you tried it? They say Lets do it
just for the fun of it. They say that if you lie, youll protect yourself. If you steal, youll enrich
yourself. If you cheat, youll get ahead. If you mock somebody, youll feel better yourself. And, of
course, fun, protection, riches, getting ahead, and feeling better can all be good things.

Its the oldest trick in the world. Its dressing up evil as good. Satan, the Great Deceiver, pointed out
to Eve all the good things shed get if she disobeyed God, and so he set his trap. The bait was just
like all bait, it looked delicious. Everything for the human race now depended on who would Eve
believe. Would she trust the God who made her and who awakened her to all the light, peace, and
joy of life in Gods world, who met with her and her husband every day? Or would she trust the
devil who was all dressed up in his borrowed Halloween costume?
What happened still happens all the time. Evil imitates good. Kidnappers disguise themselves as
trusted adults, perhaps as police or family friends. Child molesters tell their victims they love them
and that the two of them share a special secret. Liars insist they are telling the truth. Thieves and
cheats pretend they are winners. TV programmes present silly or violent people as heroes.

3. HOW THE WOMAN RESPONDED TO THE SERPENT.

She took some and ate it (v.6). That was not the Fall but the Fall comes soon after this. She also
gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Where had Adam been during this
entire conversation? Hed said of Eve, This is bone of my bone, and so hed stick close to her. They
were on their honeymoon. He was certainly around, but why was he silent? Isnt there a time to
take the lead, to speak up and end a guilty silence? And why wasnt Eve asking him for advice? We
are specifically told that he was there with her (v.6). Adam wasnt off panning for gold in the land
of Havilah , and yet Eve ignored her husband throughout this time, and he didnt intervene. Adam
watched her as she put the fruit to her lips and bit into it and swallowed it down. Then she went to
him without any recorded comments, and he simply took the proffered fruit without asking her a
single question, and he also ate the forbidden fruit. She kept her reasons for eating the fruit to
herself, and so did he. They quietly sinned and fell, and immediately something in them died. Then
man was in a state of rebellion against God in Adam all die. That was the Fall. The New
Testament makes it quite clear that there is a sense in which Satan deceived, tricked and
hoodwinked the woman. Adam wasnt confronted by Satan in the same way, but he ate the fruit
with his eyes wide open. He knew what God had said, and he knew that what the woman had
done was wrong, and as a royal priest he had the duty of resisting any intrusion into Gods
kingdom, even from his wife, but Adam was silent and chose to identify himself with her in her
rebellion against God. He wanted to be independent of the Lord too and in that attitude
mankind fell, with all its tragic consequences.

Immediately Adam and Eve knew things had changed just like you know when you have crossed
a boundary that God has laid down. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised
that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (v.7).
The joy and peace they had known until then disappeared. New feelings raged in their hearts,
horror, wretchedness, insecurity, remorse, shame. They looked at one another and knew that
things would never be the same again. The chill of danger and the fear of darkness came upon
them. Cold winds were blowing through Eden .

How is it today between man and God? Does man love God today? No. Does man speak to God?
No. Is man capable of hearing the voice of God? No. Does he delight in his Word? No. Can he
understand the things of God? No. Does he experience Gods rich and unmistakable blessing? No,
because since Eden sin has separated man from God. We live in different worlds. In Adam all die.
Here is the spiritual death about which our first parents were warned. They ate the fruit and then
where thered been three of them there were now only two. There was no third loving one
holding them together, they are soon blaming one another for what had happened.

Soon they were making for themselves aprons of fig leaves, some flimsy countermeasure to
restore a sense of well-being. Well do something to feel better, they said. What a picture of the
pathetic veneer with which modern man tries to cover up his rottenness. We know what is good
and evil; we can cover our nakedness by our own efforts. Who were they hiding from? From one
another? From the animals? There were no other human beings around. They were covering
themselves from God, but God doesnt look at the outward appearance, he regards our hearts. He
saw the wellspring of bitterness and jealousy and defiance that had spring up in the hearts of
Adam and Eve. God on high saw it all as he does today. Do you think you can hide from God
behind some fig-leaf? See them as they dashed behind some bushes when the Lord came along.
How undignified! How pathetic!

Men still do! What lengths they will run to hide from God. Men hear the word of God and they
generally look for some excuses for not paying attention to what theyre hearing. You speak to
them and they tell you that theyd like to believe but there are these problems there isnt
enough evidence, they have difficulties with Genesis, why does God allow suffering, religion has
been the reason for every war in history, and so on, and when you answer their questions one by
one they are busy thinking of the next problem, looking for another bush to hide behind. Is this
what youve been doing? Running from God and hiding year after year? One day you must leave
the forest lands and stand in the open plain before God. Therell be no hiding place there.
Everything is naked before God. Time will be gone, and eternity rolls out before you and we must
all render an account to the Landlord of the Universe. That day will come, sooner than any of us
will know and all the bushes we build against us will not stop it.

The arrow that shall lay me low

Was shot from Deaths unerring bow

The moment of my breath;

And every moment I proceed,

It tracks me with unceasing speed;

I turn it meets me Death

Has given such instinct to that dart

It points for ever at my heart.


If Adam and Eve could fall after a five minute conversation with the serpent in a sinless
environment, neither of them ever having sinned before this time, must not I beware, and cry
mightily to God for a Saviour to assist me? Come out from the bushes before its too late. There is
no hiding place in this world. There is one safe place only and that is in the wounds of Jesus for our
sin. Hide in him, that blessed Rock of Ages. Hide in him, the Lamb of God. Hide in him, the one
Mediator with God, Christ Jesus. Hide in the Friend of Sinners. Hide in the Saviour God has sent.
Dont let flimsy bushes stop you coming now to the one who has bruised the serpents head, Jesus
Christ the Son of God.

In Eden sad indeed that day

My countless blessings fled away,

My crown fell in disgrace.

But on victorious Calvary

That crown was won again for me

My life shall all be praise

Faith! See the place, and see the tree

Where heavens Prince, instead of me,

Was nailed to bear my shame.

Bruised was the serpent by the Son,

Though two had wounds, there conquered One

And Jesus was His Name.

(William Williams, [1717-1791] translated by Bobi Jones.)

4th June 2006 GEOFF THOMAS